Monday, June 29, 2009

Let Freedom Ring!

Pattern by: Anna Peck-Maliszewski
patriotic hanging towel
Need a quick project that not only can be used in colorways that match your kitchen year-round...but can be substituted in colorway to suit any holiday? Maybe this hanging towel pattern is just your project! It's easy, it's festive, and can be done within a weekend.

The Border: aprox. 25 yds of a worsted weight cotton yarn in a solid color that compliments your main body yarn (seein in "Lily's Sugar 'n Cream Cotton Solid "Red, White & Blue" for the 4th of July).
Main body Color: 1 skein (95 yds) of a worsted weight cotton yarn that's striped, varigated or "painted." (pattern seen in Lily Sugar'n Cream Stripes colorway "Red, White & Blue")
NEEDLES: US7 circular or straight needles & 1 darning needle
1 Large button

Pattern abbreviations:
k=knit p=purl CO=cast on BO=bind off Sts=stithes Kf&b=knit into the front and back of a stitch

Note on Colorways: Yarns like Lily's Sugar 'n Cream yarns have stripping colorways that are great for the holidays. I used "Red, White & Blue" for the 4th of July, and I believe you can find a stripping Christmas colorway as the season approaches. If not, get two different colors and do your own stripping to fit your own needs. You can do thin stripes, thick stripes...or even skip stipes by finding a yarn that has a "hand-painted" colorway that has an overall blended look. The main thing is to find a solid colorway for the Seed Stitch top and bottom of the towel to compliment your yarn color choices.
patriotic hanging towel
"KUAS' Quickie Hanging Towel"

DIRECTIONS:CO 11sts onto US 7 needles using a solid color.
1. Work 1'' in Seed St. (*k1, p1*)
2. Work 4sts in Seed St., BO 3sts, work last 4sts in Seed St.
3. Work 4 sts in Seed St., CO 3sts onto your right needle, work last 4sts in Seed St.
4. Seed st. until your piece measures a total of 6.5.''
5. Kf&B, *p1, k1,* across until last 2 sts; p1, kf&b.
6. *p1, k1* until last st; p1.
7. Kf&b, *k1,p1* until last 2 sts; k1, Kf&b.
8. *k1, p1* across.
Repeat instructions #5-#8 until you have 27sts total on your needles.
9. Work in Seed St. for 4 more rows.
10. Join the new colorway (that's striped or varigated), and cut the solid yarn, leaving a long tail.
11. Kf&B into all the stitches. (54sts)
12. Work in stockinette stitch until a length your desire, while always working a 4-5stitch "Garter St. border" on the edges of the work.
13. Join the solid colorway and cut the varigated one, leaving a long tail.
14. Kf&b, and then work in Seed St. for 1.5-2 inches. (55sts)
15. Weave in all dangling threads into the wrong side of the hanging towel.
16. On the top of the towel, you will need to sew a large button onto the bottom edge of the Seed St. The CO edge of your work folds over around your oven's handle and then gets buttoned.

patriotic hanging towel closeup

Sunday, June 28, 2009


BSJ front outside

Well, the BSJ finally has buttons sewn onto it (about darn time, I know), and I'm more than happy to say that this was a successful baby knit. Here's the first post of this project.

Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmerman's "Baby Surprise Jacket"
Yarn: 1 skein Bernat's Baby Jacquards in "Berries & Cream"
Gauge: 6sts=1''
Needles: Size 7, with Knitpicks' interchangeable needles
Project: June 9-14, 2009

BSJ sleeves folded-geometric

I finished the sewing by doing a 3-needle bind off, which turned out really nice & sharp! It's a good substitution for an i-cord edge look, and really makes the top pop, if you will. (The best photo to see this is the first one.)

I wanted to show you a little snippet on how geometrical this jacket's stripes can be while folded. I really like the photo above, how it forms boxes. The photo below is more diagonal.

BSJ sleeves folded

BSJ Back 2

The back, in case you were interested. It's good to get a feel on how the stripes pan out, because if you want to make another jacket with real stripping, you need to see how the actual knitting plays with it, first. I just love how the Bernat Baby Jacquards gave me beautiful & lazy-arse knitting effects without even trying a single bit.

BSJ front-pole 2

A volunteer worker at my library has 12 weeks left to her pregnancy, and she is expecting a boy. I also have a co-worker who's daughter is pregnant with a boy as well. It looks like it was perfect timing that I worked out this pattern...because now I have to knit up two more, but in blue! (Plus baby booties, don't you think?) Yay! This project was really fun.

Sorry about the lack of posting. You would think that a post with the darn buttons sewn on would have been posted about a day after the first post of the BSJ, but I've barely even had a moment to think these past couple of weeks. I've not only been working some on the wedding plans, but I've been taking on 3 different jobs, squeezing in as much part-time job "moola" as I can. Every bit helps, but I've been working every single day straight for like 3 weeks, with two jobs (or more) a day. Friday was my only day off...and believe me, it was glorious, sleeping in and doing as I please. Ahhh. But now I'm back to the hum-drum work life, and have been working Sundays even, starting at 6AM! eek.

Here's what's been getting done lately with the wedding plans:
-Reception hall details (linens, food, etc)
-Music Songs selecting (as a's gotta be impressive, you know?)
-Flower-thinking (florist still to be decided...I have a horror story about the first one I went to)
-DJ found
-BM dresses almost all ordered (those girls better get a move on, don't you think? *pulls hair out*)
-Bridal jewelry (earrings & necklace)
-Veil (found)
-Gift Registry (Target & Bed Bath & Beyond)
-Our wedding webpage for our guests

It's going to get even crazier, the wedding being almost 3 months away. I still have some major things to plan and get done. Getting a place to live, as well as maybe booking a honeymoon might be nice too...

BSJ back 1

A HUGE thanks to all my wonderful commenters for their lovely compliments! You not only give me "warm fuzzies"...but you are the ones that give me the drive to always keep writing.

Upcoming: a patriotic knit. Pattern included. Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Journal: Baby Surprise Jacket 1


Have I ever mentioned how incredible Elizabeth Zimmerman was, and still is to this day? She's not only famous for her pithy patterns, but for her pure genious designing, creating on whim 3D knits that baffles 21st century knitters to this day. And she didn't even have the internet. Or an abundance of knitting guides, knitting patterns and the like, as us lucky knitters do. Sure, there are loads of fabulous designers out there. But take a look at one of EZ's most popular and creative designs: The Baby Surprise Jacket.


Sure, It looks all innocent here, like I knit the back, knit the front sideways, and then knit the sleeves. Like I'm now at the end of the sweater, picking up stitches and knitting the button holes.


Look again, my friends. You're in for a "surprise."


If you haven't grazed upon this pattern already, this sweater is knit as one peice. That means that there is decreasing for half of the jacket's body, which in turn is used for the sleeves that is folded a particular way ("miraculously" is probably a better word-choice). Then, the rest of the body is knit increasingly, while a portion thereafter is knit straight...then picking up several stitches is in order, as well as adding some button holes, and presto-chango! You have a jacket!

Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmerman's "Baby Surprise Jacket"
Yarn: Bernat's Baby Jacquards in "Berries & Cream"
Gauge: 6sts=1''
Needles: Size 7, with Knitpicks' interchangeable needles
Project: June 9-14, 2009

I worked on a good chunk of this baby jacket while in a long car ride to a goodbye party for a college friend while listening to the audiobook Garlic and Sapphires, by Ruth Reichl. It was pretty good, although on the way back, after plenty of green apple vodka drinks, it put me to sleep, and I had to listen to a good bit of the second disc again. Today, I finished reading the book and knitting this baby jacket, and I'm off to watch another "The Next Food Network Star" episode TiVo. Stay posted for the completed BSJ. All I have to do is sew up the arms and find 5 cute buttons worthy of this project.


Thursday, June 04, 2009

The A-Z Authors project

I've said it a dozens times, and I'll say it again. I'm crazy. I get little ideas in my head, and sometimes it's impossible to let them go. I've got the insane notion that it would be amazing to read not just 26 books within a year or two, but 26 different authors...starting with different letters...while still hitting various sub-genres of fiction & nonfiction, like: mystery, sci-fi, romance, comic/anime, biography/autobiography, how-to's, crafts and even western (eek!). The idea is the branch-out a little bit. Explore possibilities. I just finished the book "Julie & Julia," so I guess this is a little like Julie Powell's project. But not.

Readings started March '09:
A: ARMSTRONG: Bitten ("Fiction"//romance, fantasy//vampires, werewolves; Read March '09?)
B: BRETTON: Casting Spells ("Fiction"//craft-fiction// knitting, vampires & magic; Read April '09)
C: COYLE: Through the Grinder and Latte Trouble ("Fiction"//cozy mystery//coffeehouse; Read May '09)
D: DUBLANCA: Waiter Rant ("Nonfiction"//food//waiter, restraunt, comedy; read June '09)
MYRON: Dewey the Library Cat ("Nonfiction"//animals//cat; Read April '09) MEYER: Breaking Dawn and New Moon and Eclipse ("Fiction"//romance//vampires, werewolves; Read January-March '09)
O: O'BRIEN: Wesley the Owl ("Nonfiction"//animals//barn-owl; Read April '09?)
P: PEPPERBERG: Alex & Me ("Nonfiction"//animals//parrot & scientist; Read May '09) POWELL: Julie & Julia ("Nonfiction"//cooking// Read in May'09) PEARL-MCPHEE: Things I learned from Knitting & Yarn Harlot Casts-off ("Fiction"//craft-fiction//knitting; Read May '09)
R: REICHL: Garlic and Sapphires ("Nonfiction"//cooking//restuarant food-critique; Read June '09)
S: SEFTON: Drop Dead Stitch ("Fiction"//knitting mystery; Read July '09)


This will become the main archive for this project, so bare with the "bareness" for the time being. Please feel free to suggest great authors with not-so-common last names, like X,Y,Z, and the like that are "must-reads." Also, if you would like to join this "A-Z Authors Project," definitely holler below and feel free to link your blog's A-Z authors project post(s).

Monday, June 01, 2009

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

I'm either the biggest nerd ever, or just truly bored while shelving-I'm guessing it's all the above. This morning, I was just doing my thing, shelving AV materials at our library, and I stumbled across a real "that will get me thinking all day long unless I know the true answer" kind of thing. I hate that. "Volcano" DVDs (551.21) were ordered one decimal number less than "Earthquakes" (551.22). Ok, well, ordering movies and books through the Dewey Decimal System is not my thing, but I did spend a heck of a lot of money on useless courses I took, like Earth Systems, and Geology, all that never served me until now... as I wonder why the heck "Volcanoes" were ordered before "Earthquakes." In my puny understanding of plate tectonics and seismic activity, it was my understanding that most volcanoes are direct consequences of the activity from earthquakes. In the briefest of brief paragraphing, an earthquake happens, the plates shift, an opening allows magma to come upward through the earth from pressure, thus becoming a volcano of some sort. Which, my point being, begs the question: which came first, the volcano or the earthquake ("Earthquake, earthquake!"). So, why is it that the national organization system for classifying these "events" call that "Volcanoes" come first? See my problem?

I do realize that after reading this, you are thinking that "yes, Anna, you are a big nerd (and probably loosing it a bit)," but I do get bored while shelving, and the matter just bugged me. So, what did I do? I did what any pained-brain person would do at the library: ask the reference desk. Did she have the answer? No. Did the person she called through catalogue know? No. Did the Book of Dewey Decimal System-ing have the answer? No. Basically, we were all stumped. It sure did make us chortle at the fact that the ordering wasn't logical, and the fact that we were just thinking about the whole thing like it mattered at all whether or not we actually found out the answer, before we got back to our hum-drum day. I told them, if they ever did decide to change it, by mere chance, I would go down in history as that "weird knitting gal who was such a big, big nerd."

And how do you know that you are working WAY TOO MUCH in the library shelving? You'll know when you look at the clock by chance at 7:46 and think of knitting...while at the same time wondering why the heck knitting popped into your head in the first place, until it dawns on you that the 746's are knitting books section...and once again, you are such a nerd.